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Pena to Cubs, Nats want LaRoche

Dec 8, 2010, 1:11 PM EDT

Updated at 10:10 a.m.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Cubs came to terms with Carlos Pena on a one-year contract early this morning, taking one of the Nationals' top first base targets off the market and putting pressure on them to now sign Adam LaRoche.

Pena, whose name had been linked to the Nationals since last summer, will get a one-year, $10 million contract from Chicago, which is banking on the 32-year-old rebounding from a decidedly down season in which he hit just .196 with 28 homers for the Rays. The deal is still contingent upon Pena passing a physical.

Since allowing Adam Dunn to leave for a four-year, $56 million deal with the White Sox, the Nationals have been in search of a replacement at first base. They prefer a left-handed hitter with strong defensive skills, someone who could break up a suddenly right-handed heavy lineup of Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Josh Willingham.

Pena and LaRoche best fit that bill, so the Nats will now make a strong push to sign LaRoche. The 31-year-old has been a fairly consistent player during his seven-season career and has hit 25Read more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Who?

  2. Section 215, Row A - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Good news for Wil. I am surprised Pena only got a one year deal with the dearth of firstbaseman around….

  3. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    I get the feeling Rizzo is working on a trade for a 1st baseman. Let's face it. If he wanted Pena, he could have had him.

  4. Section 215, Row A - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    My sentiments exactly, Anonymous

  5. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Him?

  6. David - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    This helps LaRoche $. But indeed, maybe Rizzo as something else in mind besides a free agent at 1B.

  7. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    But fastball number three….

  8. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Whom?

  9. slopitchtom - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    This is good news for the Nats. Glad they didn't get Pena as I think Laroche would be better if they can get him signed. Also, what's up with Lyle Overbay? I never see his named mentioned as a possible first base solution.

  10. Souldrummer - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    The burning question. Will Charlie and Dave play Wil Nieves' music should he get an at bat at Nats Park next year? LaRoche seems like a 1.5 WAR player (baseball-reference) or so. Is Morse going to be that much worse? I don't have too much of a problem with running Morse out there if the deal is bad. The key is that they make some other upgrade, either a solid starting pitching, better centerfielder, or first basemen. I'm not that big a believer in the Bernie in leftfield that they're talking about, though. He really tailed off in the second half of last year.

  11. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    John Kruk on ESPN Baseball Tonight: LaRoche is the best 1B value on the market. Young (at 31?), consistent, and inexpensive. The last part may change. If he gets more than 2 years, I bet Marerro becomes part of a trade package for pitching. His comments on LaRoche came before Pena signed.fpcsteve

  12. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    If not LaRoche then who? a trade? I believe everyone but Storen, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Zimmerman, and Werth are available to other teams, let make some moves people!!! PS – get moving on getting us two top of the line starters!

  13. Tank - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Would have much rather had Pena than LaRoche. Bummer.

  14. Souldrummer - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    Marerro could be a halfway decent supplementary piece in a deal for pitching that includes one of the shortstops. I'm fine with LaRoche or I'm fine with Morse. We just need to do more to improve the team if we're investing in Werth.

  15. Anonymous8 - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Having Michael Morse full-time at 1st base is a good solution if they go in that direction. Yes, the team will be very right-handed, but that is better than a dominated LH team like the Phillies are looking like with their Werth replacement!Even a bigger reason to save your 1st base money and go after Cliff Lee!

  16. JD - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    Anon8, I don't buy it. If they can't get LaRoche signed and Morse ends up at 1st they will get another left handed bat for the outfield; you can't be completely right handed throughout the lineup. Pena signed for 1 year because I think he wants to bounce back from a bad year and command a bigger contract next year; LaRoche would be a good value for 3-4 years @ 10 per.

  17. NatJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    We definitely need a left handed bat with some pop in the lineup. I agree that LaRoche fits the bill perfectly and a 2-3 year deal may be best. I'd go 4 years if we have to outbid the others but only if less than 4 is a deal breaker.

  18. H Street Bombers - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Maybe Konerko? White Sox GM on the negotiations to resign him: "Where do negotiations stand? … Still," Williams said. "I was very hopeful coming down here. I'm less hopeful now."I was hoping it wouldn't necessarily come down to getting serious with our other options, but we have no choice at this point."Too old? Too expensive? Too much loyalty to the South Side?

  19. upperdeck4 - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    What do the Dodgers want for James Loney?

  20. JD - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    I would also sign Hudson for 2 years; trade Desmond along with Willingham + Marrero + one of the catchers for a Garza or a Greinke.

  21. H Street Bombers - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Or too right handed?

  22. markfd - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Mark, any insight about new pitchers being targeted now that Pavano is not an option for the Nats?

  23. JD - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Konerko will cost a fortune with great potential to decline quickly; I'd stay away. Loney is an interesting option but I wouldn't use all our chips to get him; I would rather use what we have to obtain pitching. I agree with NatsJack; lets see what's offered for LaRoche then let's add a year ALA Werth and get it done.

  24. DCJohn - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    If all else fails, there is always Nick Johnson, remember him. This might be the short term solution, given what our starting pitching needs. Decent glove. Good left hand bat. Not on anyone's radar. And cheap.

  25. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Morgan, cf BLEspinosa, 2b/ss BB (Switch hitter)Zim, 3b BRWerth, rf BRHammer, lf/1b BRMorse, 1b/lf BRDesi, ss/2b BRPudge/Ramos/Flores, c BRIt'd be nice to have LH power in the middle of that lineup (hmmm Dunn? Duh!) Gotta get LaRoche.Where's that #1 starter? Lee is a looooonnnngggshot! Go after Garza, Grienke…Hey, gotta love hot stove!

  26. sec 3 my sofa - Dec 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Two things to keep in mind:Bench. It's not just who you can shoehorn into a position to start;Schedule. It doesn't start until March. There's no rush.

  27. David - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    bring Nick back! (i still have his jersey and want it to be useful again) no but really, i always was a huge fan of his game. he's got the glove and a patient bat. lefy too, i think.

  28. sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    @dcjohn, who would play the other 112 games?(Yes, he would.)

  29. NatinBeantown - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    @upperdeck4:Ken Rosenthal started most of the "Loney is available" rumors, and then he backed way off. For the Dodgers were to move Loney, they would need to be blown away. Not worth it. I like Morse, but I'm not at all comfortable with our our LF and 1B being completely dependent on Willingham (injury risk), Morse (never played a full season), and Bernie (unproven). I like each of those guys, but I think we need more certainty out of at least one of those positions. Like most, I presume that we're moving to sign Laroche and then the asking price on Willingham will be reduced so we can move him for pitching.

  30. sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Has anyone seen anything anywhere that says other teams have asked about Marrero? Srsly.

  31. phil dunn - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Carlos Pena signed for only one year because he didn't want to lock himself into a long term contract which was based upon a .196 season. He decided to wait until next year to do that as he hopes his stats will improve with the Cubs.

  32. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    I bet we get LaRoche. I bet he gets more in time and money than he expected. He will have Werth to thank for that in part. LaRoche is in the catbird seat right about now. I don't like Johnson as a solution because history "proves" he will miss a lot of games, and we end up with the same problem: a hole in the lineup.

  33. Jimmy - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    I would move Desmond to 1B, have Esponsia at SS and find a 2B. Also, have Bernadina in CF (better arm than Morgan and better on defense). If Double Switch has to play his boy (Morgan) have him in LF. Pittsburg knew he wasn't a CFielder.

  34. NatinBeantown - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    @markfd – where did you see that? Is there something official about Pavano with the Twins?

  35. phil dunn - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Laroche is a mixed bag. He is a very streaky hitter who suffers from extended slumps at the plate. He is a notorious slow starter, often hitting under .200 during the first half of the season, then .350 for the second half. With Pena off the market, Laroche will command much more than he is worth. NIck Johnson would be a better and cheaper option if he didn't have chronic injury problems.

  36. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Phil D. – if Johnson didn't have chronic injury problems, he wouldn't be cheaper! ;-)Why not inquire on Konerko?

  37. PDowdy83 - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    There doesn't seem to be much sense in giving Laroche a 4 year deal if they wouldn't give one to Adam Dunn. I say he ends up with a 2 year deal for 18 mil or so. He shouldn't make 10 mil a year since he hasn't ever won a gold glove or hit as many homers as pena but an offer of 2 years at 8.5 or 9 a season wouldn't be bad. Shoot we spent 8 per year on Guzman the last 2 seasons, Laroche is a steal compared to that.Oh and just for fun. According to fangraphs Adam Dunns WAR over the past 3 seasons is 6.2 and Laroche is 6.8.

  38. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Why do they call it FanGraphs? Were NerdGraphs and GeekGraphs already taken?

  39. rmoore446 - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Agree with Phil Dunn on Laroche's prolonged slumps but may be best available. He also can lose focus in the field. But personality-wise would be a good add to the clubhouse

  40. Wally - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    What is Russell Branyan's status (injury and contract)? There were mutual options for 2011 but not sure what happened.If the Nats go with Morse, it would be good to add Branyan to platoon with him (lefty masher, pretty good D). I am fine with this low budget 1B option if it frees them up to get quality SPs.

  41. Les in NC - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    There may be something to signing Nick "the stick" and have him platoon with Morse @ 1B. We could have the split be 50-50 or 60-40 until NJ gets hurt again, then let Morse have it to see what he can do (again). -Just a thought

  42. sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    "if Johnson didn't have chronic injury problems, he wouldn't be cheaper!"And if LaRoche were Albert Pujols, neither would he. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be better than the alternatives. LaRoche is an upgrade.

  43. HHover - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    A couple of posters have asked about Konerko – 1. he's older and more expensive than most other options, as previous commenters have pointed out; 2. he's a righty, and thus doesn't provide the left-handed bat the Nats will sorely need;3. he's not available – mlbtraderumors just reported he struck a deal with the White Sox.

  44. Noirelune - Dec 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Don't think about the return of Nick Johnson!Last week, playing sudoku, he broke the nail on his left pinkie and could need 8 months to recover.

  45. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    1 year $10 million deal for Pena. 3 year $37.5 million deal for Konerko. 2 year $22 million deal for LaRoche sounds right. Nats might have to pay a little bit more as the "bad team tax" kicks in, plus LaRoche has leverage as the last remaining legit 1st baseman on the market.

  46. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    @ Anonymous 11:01LaRoche will come back and ask for another year. 3 years and $30 million. I think he will get it because of your last point. LaRoche is the last and best viable FA option.fpcsteve

  47. sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    "What is Russell Branyan's status (injury and contract)? There were mutual options for 2011 but not sure what happened."Free agent, Seattle declined the 2011 team option. Reportedly wants multiple years. Dunn with less power, 34 y.o., and a bad back.

  48. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    @upperdeck4: As for Loney, the Dodgers have supposedly asked the Nats for Desmond and Zimmermann in return. Too much if you ask me. Loney's bat isn't that big. @anonymous: Konerko just resigned with the ChiSox for three years, so he's off the table. @JD: The Laroche option that the D-Backs recently declined was for $7.5M. I'd be surprised to see him get any more than that per year, for any more than two years, on the open market. He's bounced around his whole career, and it's hard to see someone signing him to a long-term deal, however desperate they might be.

  49. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    This team is not going to totally fix itself for the 2011 season. It would be nice to think the Nats will get all the parts worked out but not reality. Improvement is what it needs and it fixed RF for the forseeable future with Werth now and BHarper in 6/1/2012. There is nothing wrong going in with Michael Morse at 1st base -if- you can't get LaRoche.You keep Willingham in LF and yes, it is a LH dominated lineup with Espi as a switch hitter and a lefty in CF which means that the bench will seriously need another lefty bat as a backup infielder or Lombardozzi who is a switch hitter would be a great fit.When BRYCE HARPER comes up June 2012, the Nats will have their big lefty bat to even it out and maybe even get Adrian Gonzalez as a Free Agent next year (wink wink). There is no guarantee that AGone will sign an extension with Bosox and along with Pujols is slated as the big Free Agents in 2012.Also, I am hearing that Carl Pavano wants to come to DC as his 1st choice if he gets his 3 year deal so not sure where MarkFD is getting his "intell".Amazing how these Free Agents want DC as their #1 now.

  50. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Scratch what I wrote. It is a RH dominated lineup….sorry. Darn preview!

  51. erocks33 - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    LaRoche made $4.5M last season in AZ. In 2009, he made $7.05M. I think any other club could land him for somewhere around $6-7M per season, but if the Nats want him, they may have to average around $8-9M (and may have to tack on 1-2 more years than what other teams were willing to give him).That being said, the Nats do need to sign him. He does have some streakiness in him, but to say that he starts slow then heats up is incorrect. Last season, he started really strong (.296/.390/.563) in April, then had a terrible June (.222/.294/.404) and July (.253/.290/.379).In 2009, he was hot/cold every other month (look at his splits, that was one weird season for him – maybe playing for three teams in one season took some adjusting).I just like that he hits the ball well at Nats Park (.314/.397/.608) in 58 PA for his career. Add in a .978 OPS at CitiField and a .898 OPS in Philly's ballpark and he very well could help the middle of the Nats lineup.

  52. markfd - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    @Natin Beantown – Pavano has not resigned with the Twins but multiple outlets confirm that he prefers a long term deal that the Nats will not give him so the issue is dead—Kilgore's sources will tell youo otherwise apparently.

  53. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    erocks – Those are the numbers that would make LaRoche the man for the Nationals!He hit 25 HRs the last 3 years, has a decent 1.2 WAR and a great attitude from what I have read.My only trepidation is that he had his worst defensive year of his career in 2010. It wasn't horrible because his range was better than Dunn's but that still is a concern.

  54. Knoxville Nat - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    How is LaRoche's "streakiness" any different than Dunn's? They are both streaky hitters but when Dunn hits one out of the park it usually is more frequent and the ball goes a bit farther. On the other hand when Dunn is striking out a lot………

  55. Section 215, Row A - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Nicely researched erocks33. The commentators here are a consistently better informed and thoughtful group than the yahoos who post at National Journal. IMHO.

  56. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    markfd – Pavano is in a holding pattern waiting on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes which is why this may drag on for a while. He definitely would like to stay with the Twins but the Nats made a better offer.

  57. Pilchard - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Phil Dunn is right about LaRoche. Not unusual for Laroche to do nothing for a week or more, and he might as well stay in Viera for the month of April (career BA/OBP/SLG of .211/.304/.396). He strikes out a lot and can't run. He is a very good defensive 1b. The Nats do have a need for left-haned hitter and a top notch defensive 1b, but I would not offer him more than a two year deal. If they miss on LaRoche, would look for a trade, consider Nick Johnson with the knowledge that Pena and others would be available in 2011.

  58. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Is Nick Johnson healthy or is that a stupid question?

  59. Sunderland - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    Agree Steve M. Unless someone blows Pavano out of the water, he waits until Lee signs and then let's the Lee-losers bid for his services.*"I just like that he hits the ball well at Nats Park (.314/.397/.608) in 58 PA for his career"*Please note those numbers were accumulated aginst Nats pitching. If wearing a curly-W, he loses that advantage.Frankly, at this point, it would be foolish to sign Werth for $18 x 7 and not sign LaRoche. We need a left handed bat in the heart of the order. Zim – LaRoche – Werth, then Willingham or Morse.Oh, and I'm one of those yahoos who posts at NJ.

  60. N. Cognito - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Pilchard said… "Phil Dunn is right about LaRoche. Not unusual for Laroche to do nothing for a week or more"Go to any player's game log page on ESPN.MLB and you'll see just about all of them have slumps of a week or more.

  61. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    I think there are a fair number of NJ refugees who post on this site, as well as a fair number of folks who post on both sites.

  62. raymitten - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    I really didn't want Laroche but everything changed with the Werth signing. Laroche isn't replacing Dunn in the lineup, Werth is, so I suppose it isn't that bad. I would have preferred Pena but I'm really not overly excited about either option. Interesting Kenny Williams interview on MLB Network yesterday. He said, he handed Dunn the four year contract and told him he would only play in the field once or twice a week, and if he wasn't happy with that, don't sign. And Dunn signed anyway. So it came down to whether Dunn was willing to DH for the fourth year and went along with it. Lets hope for his sake he doesn't become Pat Burrell.

  63. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    Going for Johnson at 1B if he were healthy is about is realistic as going for Gehrig if the Yankees would trade him. Oh, and if he hadn't gotten sick.

  64. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    From mlbtraderumors:It "sounds like Adam LaRoche [is] headed to [the] Nationals," tweets Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse. The market for first basemen is shrinking, with LaRoche and Derrek Lee the best two options still on the board.Posted by: TimDz | December 8, 2010 12:16 PM

  65. N. Cognito - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Anonymous said… "From mlbtraderumors:It "sounds like Adam LaRoche [is] headed to [the] Nationals," tweets Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse."mlbtraderumors can be fun to monitor and they seem to be on top of actual news, posting it very quickly, but their rumors, much, much more often than not, are garbage. Still, they are more accurate than Ken Rosendope.

  66. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    This MLB Trade Rumors that Nats got LaRoche came from one of those Yahoos over on Nats Journal.

  67. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    And Derek Lee is right handed. I'm just certain that Rizzo wants LaRoche, and will land him.If willingham gets traded:Nyjer – LDesmond – RZim – RLaRoche – LWerth – RMorse / Bernadina – R/L platoon in LFEspinosa – SCatcher – RPitcher – Who cares

  68. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Offer Cliff Lee more – sign him now. Trade Strasburg for Greinke or Garza.

  69. N. Cognito - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    He's not the ideal #2 guy, but I'd bump Werth up to 2nd in the order. He's a good on-base guy with some speed, and his HRs will drop not playing 1/2 his games in the sandbox.No sense having two outs at the top of the order.

  70. Sasskuash - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    I went to geekgraphs…er…fangraphs to check out his streakiness. He's actually sort of consistent from one year to the next- he starts slow with an awful April, goes on a tear into July, has his best numbers around the all-star break, and then starts to dip down to around his average numbers. He usually has a nice spike in his performance around the end of August-beginning of September, but then he finishes very poorly. If you look up LaRoche, and click the "graphs" tab, you can see his performance on different batting measurements as a line graph over the course of the last 3 seasons. They are remarkably similar to eachother. I don't have a specific point or argument, just thought it seemed relevant to the conversation. Here's the OBP graph to get you started (from here you can click on other stats to see similar graphs): http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=1904&position=1B&page=1&type=full

  71. Sec3MySofa - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    "Trade Strasburg for Greinke or Garza."NOW I understand why people post anonymously.

  72. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Good job Anon @ 12:31 with a potential lineup, I think you got it although Riggles will come up with 5 or 6 iterations of that lineup! LOL

  73. sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    "Is Nick Johnson healthy or is that a stupid question?"Well, it is probably the wrong question. The season doesn't start for several months–will he be healthy THEN is a good question, and for how long *(not very)* is another.And Sunderland and 1a are some of my favorite yahoos.

  74. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Sec3MySofa said… "Trade Strasburg for Greinke or Garza."NOW I understand why people post anonymously. ——————Obviously an Orioles or Phillies fan!

  75. sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Probably not a Phillies fan–everything was spelled right.

  76. Bowdenball - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:51 PM

    According to Cliff Lee's agent, one of the 4 or so clubs in the running for Lee has dropped out. It's not the Rangers according to the reporter, and we can assume it's not the Yankees, so that leaves the Nats and the Angels.http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4858773/cliff-lees-agent-one-club-eliminated

  77. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    If the Nats get Cliff Lee, Garza or Greinke, a 1st baseman who can mash (I'd take a chance on nick the Stick), keep the Hammer i.e. Willingham, then buy your season tickets, folks. 'cause we're going to the playoffs. And Riggles, who reminds me of Bobby Cox, may just manage this team another 19 years. And Stan the Plan will dislocate his hip trying to kick himself in the azz.

  78. N. Cognito - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    A club didn't drop out. They were eliminated.That means they are moving on to the Lightning Round, where the questions are worth double.

  79. N. Cognito - Dec 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Anonymous said… "a 1st baseman who can mash (I'd take a chance on nick the Stick)"ROFLMAO

  80. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    "He's actually sort of consistent from one year to the next- he starts slow with an awful April, goes on a tear into July, has his best numbers around the all-star break, and then starts to dip down to around his average numbers. He usually has a nice spike in his performance around the end of August-beginning of September, but then he finishes very poorly."Adam Dunn during his two years in Washington, right?

  81. Sec3mysofa - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    So to get Lee they probably have to go at least 7/$175MM (probably more). That would mean for most of the rest of the decade, they have about $18MM/y for Werth, $25MM/y for Lee, and in a couple of years if not sooner, probably $20MM/y for Zimmerman. That's $63MM for three guys. Then Strasburg gets to arbitration, followed by Harper. May I put a beer on layaway now?Ouch.

  82. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Maybe they trade for Logan Morrison or sign Carl Crawford? Logan Morrison is a reach. Better chance of that than wasting Desmond's athletic skills playing first base??? As suggested by Jimmy? And he's right handed? That's the silliest suggestion I've seen yet? There are a number of blocked first base prospects. As someone suggested they could go Cuban again with Yonder Alonso.I think Pena was used as a smoke screen for negotiations with Boras on Werth. I don't think they had as much interest as everyone suggests given they could have easily signed him to a 1 year? As he signed with the Cubs?

  83. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    "And Riggles, who reminds me of Bobby Cox, may just manage this team another 19 years."Riggleman turns 58 tomorrow. The notion of a 77-year-old Riggleman (or a 77-year-old anyone, for that matter) managing the Nats is ridiculous.

  84. Sunderland - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Only a yahoo puts a beer on layaway.

  85. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    ""a 1st baseman who can mash (I'd take a chance on nick the Stick)"ROFLMAO"No, he means a first baseman from M*A*S*H. Although come to think of it a sucking chest wound is one of the few injuries Nick Johnson hasn't had yet.

  86. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    And while everyone is throwing out lineups. Both Morgan (because of the weak arm) and Bernadina are better of in left field? I think they need to trade one or both of them and someone else for a real CF prospect. They really don't have anyone other than Eury Perez. First base is really only important in order to get the left handed power bat in the lineup. This might be already be resolved if Burgess were further along. But he is a Bowden choice … Morse is really the only legit power bat they can trot out there and place into the middle of the lineup right now beyond Willingham. Both are again right handed.

  87. Sunderland - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    Anon 1:16, I think most here agree with you about Morgan (although many would prefer to bench or DFA him) and his Damon-esque throwing prowess, yet Rizzo has made it pretty clear he's comfortable with Nyjer in the middle of the outfield and in the top of the order.But we'll see…

  88. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    (imagine the tune if you would like) Where have all the updates gone? Long time comin'…

  89. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Might As Well Face It, You're Addicted To Mark

  90. Bob L. Head - Dec 8, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    Nick Johnson had surgery on his wrist in May. And again in August. Totaled 72 ABs in 2010. He's not going to be mashing anything but potatoes in 2011.Logan Morrison would be great but he's exactly the kind of guy the Marlins try to acquire, not give up. Hard to see how that gets done.

  91. Bob L. Head - Dec 8, 2010 at 7:14 PM

    As I mentioned over at the looney bin, AK tweeted the following:"Am told Adam LaRoche to #Nats is not imminent, not at all a lock to happen."Hmmmmmn.

  92. Bob L. Head - Dec 8, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    "Watching" winter meetings via blogs = reading the Lee teaves.

  93. greg - Dec 8, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    i think the thoughts of yonder alonzo are interesting…. he's only 23, most definitely blocked by the MVP, hits lefty, and has been very consistent in the minors. his minor league portfolio doesn't show terrible strikeout problems (100/550abs). i'm sure he wouldn't be cheap, though.

  94. DFL - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Perhaps the Nats will sign LaRoche for 2 for $19 and hope that either Chris Marrero or Tyler Moore will be ready in 2013. Both hit righthanded, however. Marrero has steadily improved but he needs to be more patient at the plate. He may be ready next spring but more than likely will spend at least half a season at AAA. Moore jumped from 9 to 31 home runs last season, sign of a guy taking off. Like Marrero, Moore needs to walk more. He'll almost certainly will spend all next in AA and AAA. Both might be trade bait.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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